Werckmeister Harmoniak

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Overview

Bela Tarr follows up on his seven-hour epic Satantango, considered by some critics as one of the finest films of the 1990s, with this elegant, haunting work about the cycles of violence that have dogged Eastern European history. Jancos Lars Rudolph is a wide-eyed innocent who works as an occasional postal worker and as a caretaker for Mr. Ezster Peter Fitz. An outsider and a visionary, he marvels at the miracles of creation, from the planets rotating in the heavens to the sundry animals on earth. One day, a ...
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Overview

Bela Tarr follows up on his seven-hour epic Satantango, considered by some critics as one of the finest films of the 1990s, with this elegant, haunting work about the cycles of violence that have dogged Eastern European history. Jancos Lars Rudolph is a wide-eyed innocent who works as an occasional postal worker and as a caretaker for Mr. Ezster Peter Fitz. An outsider and a visionary, he marvels at the miracles of creation, from the planets rotating in the heavens to the sundry animals on earth. One day, a circus featuring jars full of medical anomalies and a massive dead whale entombed in a corrugated metal trailer visits Jancos' economically depressed village. Another more sinister attraction is a shadowy figure dubbed "The Prince," whose nihilist rants incite the town's disaffected to riot. Not long afterwards, Mrs. Ezster Hanna Schygulla cajoles her estranged husband to join a citizen's action group against the circus, threatening to move back into his house if he doesn't play along. Tension in the town builds until, after one of The Prince's hate-filled speeches, throngs of angry men with blunt instruments ransack and brutalize a men's hospital ward. When the dust clears, lives are irrevocably changed. This film was screened at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.
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Special Features

Facets Cine-Notes collectible booklet; Scene selection
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Werckmeister Harmonies is a work of staggering depth and technical accomplishment. Shot in stark black-and-white and consisting of only 39 shots (the film is 145 minutes long), Tarr's camera swoops and lingers, revealing layer upon layer of nuances and subtleties. In one ten-minute shot, which rivals anything in Orson Welles oeuvre, the camera swirls around a square full of hung-over rioters as Jancos, walking off and then reappearing in the frame, makes his way to the trailer that houses the whale. In terms of camera movement, choreography, and cinematography, this shot, one among dozens, is a feat of sheer cinematic bravado. The film's photography seems to uncover ever-deeper shades of black, creating a haunting atmosphere that deftly informs Tarr's mysterious, transcendent narrative. Wide-eyed in wonder or brows furrowed in fear, Lars Rudolph as Jancos -- who looks like a fusion of Klaus Kinski and Steve Zahn -- plays the holy fool to perfection. Returning to the silver screen after a nine-year absence, Hanna Schygulla -- perhaps best known for her role in The Marriage of Maria Braun as a Teutonic temptress -- here brilliantly morphs into a Machiavellian Magyar matron. Beautiful, slow, and absorbing, Werckmeister Harmonies is a masterpiece by one of world cinema's greatest directors.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/28/2006
  • UPC: 736899091026
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Facets
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled / B&W
  • Time: 2:25:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lars Rudolph János Valuska
Peter Fitz György Eszter
Hanna Schygulla Tünde Eszter
Janos Derzsi man in broad-cloth coat
Djocko Rossitch man in Western boots
Tamas Wichmann man in the sailor-cap
Ferenc Kallai director
Mihály Kormos factotum
Putyi Horvath porter
Éva Almási Albert Aunt Piri
Iren Szajki Mrs. Harrer
Alfred Jarai Lajos Harrer
Gyorgy Barko Mr. Nabadán
Lajos Dobák Mr. Volent
Andras Fekete Mr. Árgyelán
Péter Dobai chief constable
Kati Lazar sorter
László Felugossy housepainter
Gyula Pauer Mr. Hagelmayer
Barna Mihok coachman
Lois Viktor loader
Béla Máriáss Mr. Mádai
Matyas Drafi man in fur-cap
József Ropog man beside the man in the fur-cap
Sándor Bese The Prince
Tamás Bolba voice of János Valuska
Peter Haumann Gyorgy Eszter (Voice)
Mariann Moor Tunde Eszter (Voice)
Attila Kaszas The Prince (Voice)
Eniko Borcsok
Gyuri Dósa Kiss
Jozsi Mihalyfi
Geza Balkay
Peter Toth
Erika Horineczky
Bela Nagy
Lajos Bulucs
Ferenc Gazdag
Gyula Herpai
Tibor Komaromi
Geza Kosa
Jozsef Szanto
Miklos Vaszlavik
Janos Varadi
Agnes Kamondy
Peter Magyar
Dora Kovats
Gabor Werner
Technical Credits
Béla Tarr Director, Associate Producer, Screenwriter
János Breckl Costumes/Costume Designer
Ralph E. Cotta Associate Producer
Patrick De Ranter Cinematographer
Franz Goëss Producer
Miklós Gurbán Cinematographer
Ágnes Hranitzky Editor
Brigitta Kajdácsi Sound Editor
Sebestyén Kodolányi Asst. Director
Gyorgy Kovacs Sound/Sound Designer
László Krasznahorkai Screenwriter
Erwin Lanzensberger Cinematographer
Gábor Medvigy Cinematographer
Emil Novák Cinematographer
Gyula Pauer Consultant/advisor
Paul Saadoun Producer
Miklos Szita Producer
Rob Tregenza Cinematographer
Von Vietinghoff Producer
Joachim von Vietinghoff Producer
Mihály Vig Score Composer
Joerg Widmer Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Werckmeister Harmonies
1. Opening Credits [1:10]
2. Explaining the Eclipse [10:50]
3. The Prince & the Whale [18:03]
4. Werckmeister Harmonies [5:38]
5. Visiting the Whale [10:20]
6. Tünde [10:45]
7. Blackmail [16:01]
8. Tünde & the Police Chief [1:35]
9. Unrest [8:41]
10. The Mob Attacks [19:16]
11. Post-Apolcalypse [10:39]
12. Nothing Counts [14:36]
13. End Credits [8:40]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Werckmeister Harmonies
   Start Movie
   Scene Selections
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 9, 2013

    Stuff of nightmares.

    Stuff of nightmares.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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